The key to essential English

Cambridge English: Key for Schools, also known as Key English Test (KET) for Schools, is a basic level qualification that shows you can use English to communicate in simple situations.
Key for Schools is a version of Cambridge English: Key  that is particularly targeted at the interests and experiences of school children. It is at the same level as Cambridge English: Key and follows exactly the same format. It is based on familiar topics and situations so it:

  • suits the interests of students
  • increases their motivation to learn English
  • gives them confidence to use their language skills to move on to further qualifications.

What level is Cambridge English: Key for Schools?

This exam is set at Level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), but with content aimed at school-age learners rather than adults. Reaching this level means that a student can:

  • understand and use basic phrases and expressions
  • introduce him/herself and answer basic questions about personal details
  • interact with English speakers who talk slowly and clearly
  • write short, simple notes.

What is assessed in Cambridge English: Key for Schools?

Cambridge English: Key for Schools is made up of three papers developed to test your students' English skills. You can see exactly what’s in each paper below.


Reading and Writing



Time allowed

1 hour 10 min.

30 min., including 8 minutes' transfer time

8-10 min. per pair of candidates


9 parts / 56 questions

5 parts / 25 questions

2 parts


Shows a student can understand simple written information such as signs, brochures, newspapers and magazines. They will also have to fill gaps in simple sentences and write a short message or note.

Requires a student to be able to understand announcements and other spoken material when people speak reasonably slowly.

Tests a student’s ability to take part in a conversation by answering and asking simple questions. Their Speaking test will be conducted face-to-face with one or two other students.

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